Durable Laptops: An In-Depth Review of Durable Laptops


Not every individual needs a rugged laptop computer. You can find enough laptops which sufficiently exceed the desires of a high percentage of consumers, users that aren’t planning on using their laptops somewhere other than inside buildings as well as far from mess and havoc.

The majority of these laptops are usually capable of being equipped with some top-notch security programs in order to best safeguard the user. However, there are lots of individuals that need a laptop that could go anywhere in various conditions and be all set to operate at any time in addition to possessing some of the most uncompromising hardware security features in order to defend the precious information within. Not only is a rugged laptop for them, but the highest-quality rugged laptop is necessary. Allow me to suggest the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme (7204).

Even if Panasonic has perhaps monopolized the field with their renowned Toughbook line of rugged laptop computers and tablets, in recent times they’ve quite possibly become second to Dell’s newest editions with their Rugged Extreme line. The processing and security of the Rugged Extremes are derived from Dell’s Latitude line, a top-quality business laptop line, yet the physical build more appears to be a tank in operation and visual appearance (nevertheless an attractive tank). And it’s true, Dell has successfully combined high operational demands with stylish design, supplying a couple of laptop computers that succeed across the board in rugged qualities. In this article we are going to be taking apart (figuratively) the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme, Dell’s compact version of their own rugged laptop computer collection. And since we’re talking about rugged, let’s examine those rugged qualities.

Ruggedness and Design

The Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme conforms to both MIL-STD-810G in addition to IP65 military device specifications. This means that it can be dropped from 6 ft. (3 ft. if the laptop is open), is protected against blowing rain, blowing dust, blowing sand, heavy vibration, humid environments, high altitudes (up to 15,000 feet), explosive atmospheres (crazy, right?), solar radiation, and freezing and thawing.

Believe it or not, the range of satisfactory working temperatures for the Most Durable Laptops 2012 is -20˚F to 145˚F! When it isn’t on, it can handle temperatures within -60˚F to 160˚F. With every one of the ports rubber sealed, the 12 Rugged Extreme is not just entirely protected from dust, grit and dirt, but via the IP-65 regulations, can deal with pressurized water jets being fired at it. Seems like really the only thing you can’t do with it is to take it under water or in the center of a bonfire.

That stated, the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme is ready to go wherever you’re going, and it’s assuredly going to be less worried than you about it.Durable Laptops 2014 Dimensions and WeightDell’s Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme is a smaller sized laptop, yet it actually has a full-size keyboard. It’s 12.2 inches broad, 8.6 inches deep, and 1.6 inches tall. It’s weight (when using the standard battery feature) is 6 pounds, which is much not as heavy than other full-size laptop computers.

The 12 Rugged Extreme possesses a sturdy see-saw latch for the top.

The Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme possesses a number of ports for optimum connectivity. These are 2 x USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, one native RS-232 serial port, one RJ-45 gigabit Ethernet network connector, a combined stereo headphone/microphone jack, a pogo-pin docking connector, VGA and HMDI. Beyond that, it also contains a memory card reader, a 54mm ExpressCard reader or PCMCIA reader, and two internal M.2 slots. The possibility for ExpressCard or PCMCIA is most helpful in case you want to add to the notebook’s capabilities or operations without inevitably taking it apart. There are many obtainable PCMCIA cards and ExpressCards which enhance the sound capabilities, add extra connections, or even add another solid state drive (you can find those here).


The screen is an 11.6 inch, 16:9 widescreen (1366 x 768) with resistive multi-touch touchscreen that is completely viewable outside. It’s powered by either an Intel HD Graphics 4400 if you decide to get the i3 or i5 processor options or an Intel HD Graphics 5000 if you get the i7. The touchscreen is like any other tablets, facilitating multi-touch functions, which will be used by skin, gloves, or stylus. The 12 Rugged Extreme is a convertible, which means that by engaging a lever on the display side of the clamshell, the display can rotate on a horizontal axis, allowing the clamshell to be closed screen-up and be operated in the for of a tablet.Durable Laptops 2014 Input

The Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme uses the previously mentioned resistive touchscreen, an RGB back-lit keyboard, in addition to basic track pad with left and right click buttons. The RGB keyboard is user customizable in its lighting, so the user can select the color and brightness of the back-lighting to best fit his or her needs.

The buyer can choose either a 4-cell lithium ion battery or a long life cycle 4-cell lithium ion battery. The normal4-cell gets about 58WH and the long life 4-cell 51WH.Durable Laptops 2014 ConnectivityThe Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme is equipped standard with an 10/100/1000 gigabit Ethernet and triple antenna pass-through. It also has an Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 connector, delivering up to 867 Mbps. It also has Bluetooth® 4.0 plus vPro. There’s also an optional Dell Wireless 4G LTE card, but for U.S. and Canada service exclusively and an optional Dell Wireless single-mode HSPA card. You can also choose a SiRFstarV dedicated GPS and antenna.

Now for the good part. The Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme comes equipped with the choice of a Fourth Generation Intel® Core i3, i5 or i7 dual-core processor. Even though there exists a Fifth Generation of Intel processors available, the Fourth Generation i7 still surpasses the Fifth Generation i5, which is actually what the most recent version of Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-31 utilizes. (Check the findings of a side-by-side analysis of the chips here.)The Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme has 2 DIMM slots which can support up to 16GB of RAM. A Solid State Drive (SSD) is what is used for the hard drive, which can be 128GB, 256GB or 512GB. Dell additionally offers an optional 256GB SSD with mSata SED drive encryption capabilities.

The laptops are equipped with Windows® 8.1 Pro (64-bit) or Genuine Windows® 7 Professional (also 64-bit). There are also optional Windows® 8.1 (non-Pro, 64-bit), Windows® 7 Professional (in 32-bit), or Linux Ubuntu 12.04. So how do these components work together and perform as one?

As I stated above the Fourth Generation i7 processor outdoes a Fifth Generation i5. This processor is fully competent at graphics intense gaming supposing that may be what you would like to use it for), but this capability works for all processing it is needed it to accomplish. Hardware performance on the i7 is exceptional straight out of the box, any potential restrictions caused by software limitations.

That being said, with only a 58WH or 51WH battery option, your biggest limitation is going to be available working time. Stand-alone trials got between approximately 5.6 to 7 hours of legitimate continuous-use functioning time from the normal 4-cell battery, depending on usage. Having said that, lately Panasonic has added to their CF-31 battery life, and by making use of a central processing unit that eats less power, they lay claim to 18 hours of ongoing operation (and a exceptional 27 hours through use of an supplemental optional battery where the DVD drive would go). But nevertheless, it cannot compare with high-power processing and a much smaller and lighter package, so you gain some, you lose some.Durable Laptops 2014 Security

Let’s examine the hardware first. The Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme has a quick removable SSD, meaning that you can remove the drive in a matter of seconds if needed. The laptop incorporates a quick-key “stealth mode,” which turns off all light and sounds, screen as well, at the push of a key, though the laptop maintains operating normally. It also incorporates a steel fortified cable lock slot, SmartCard reader, contactless SmartCard reader, as well as an optional finger-print reader, which is placed on the right side. As far as non-hardware security, the Tough Laptops 2014 offers TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 1.2, ControlVault advanced authentication, Dell’s own Security Tools, Dell Data Protection/Encrytion, NIST SP800-147 secure platform, and Dell Backup and Recovery. If the user takes the time and effort to suitably set everything up, this machine can be established as a fortress.

Bottom Line

Numerous people think Panasonic when they picture a rugged laptop computer, and befittingly so, Panasonic has retained the market standard for nearly 16 years. With that said, Dell has produced two extraordinary devices specifically for environments and conditions in which no other laptops can or should go, the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme and the unit described in todays post: the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme. Out of context, the 12 Rugged Extreme is a formidable laptop/tablet, with functioning capabilities being over mostusers’ desires coupled with a decent battery life, enclosed in a shell that’s very nearly everything-proof excluding Godzilla. It is really an incredible notebook. Now, when put against a Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 (which is much larger and heavier), Panasonic’s best laptop for all things rugged, the Latitude 12 outperforms, but just barely so, yet with a sacrifice of battery life (5.6-7 hours). If you desire an approximate 27 hours of operating time between charging, buy the CF-31. If you aren’t intending on leaving civilization for that much time, the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme is a brilliant laptop that refuses to be surpassed by any other rugged laptop. Also: it actually looks good.

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